Bee Action & Early Harvest

The 2017 growing season has been a strange one. We were very pleased to see a very good amount of fruit on the trees early in the year. This is the first year that the bees which are now resident on the Orchard have been busy feeding on the blossom.  The apiary went in last year after the trees had blossomed, so we were eagerly anticipating better pollination - and they have done us proud.

Apiary on the orchard.

The weather has affected harvesting more than ever this year. We thought we'd have a bumper raspberry crop (those busy bees again), but a spell of very dry weather meant that lots of the fruit shrivelled up. 

Equally, apples are ready to pick much earlier. So much so, that at times its only the number of fallers, or apples pecked by birds that has signalled that its time to pick.

We continue to work on the orchard on Thursday evenings, and this year have welcomed four new volunteers; Stuart, Caroline and Chris and Dawn. I'm always interested to know what brings people to the orchard, and importantly, why they keep coming. For Caroline and Chris, who live in the city centre their visits to volunteer on the orchard provide a break from city centre living:  "I know that for us when we can get out it's a connection with nature that we don't get living in a block of flats, and it always de-stresses us."

Here are some other pictures from the orchard taken recently.

Insect hangout

Fruit arch, recently summer pruned.

The long fenceline with vertical cordon trees.
You can join us on the orchard on Thursday evenings 6.30-8 pm until the nights draw in. 

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